Overcome Sneaky Self-Sabotage
If you don’t feel a sting of recognition when you hear the word procrastination then stop reading now, because this blog post is not for you. You are one of the lucky ones. A super human who is slaying their goals and and getting massive results. Everyone else: Welcome to the procrastination club. It’s a sub category of the perfectionism club.
Procrastination has many faces and the sneakiest of them all is: Busy Work.
Busy work is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It looks innocent and cute but then it will eat you alive. Ok it won’t eat you alive but it will devour your progress with one bite.
Busy work is so sneaky, because it appears productive. You feel good. Especially perfectionists like to feel busy and productive without being vulnerable. That’s why they are such fans of busy work.
So what does busy work actually look like?
It’s normally an activity that looks like an important task which has to be done immediately instead of doing a more important task. Buys work can look like the following:
- Updating my blog
- Creating Canva graphics
- Editing photos for Instagram
- Pinning on Pinterest or creating new pins
- Writing emails
- Checking your FB and replying to DMs
- Checking your bank account
- Cleaning & tidying
- Changing fonts or other minor things on your Website
- Browsing (aka engaging on) Instagram
As you can see Busy Work can have many shapes but the way you know it’s busy work is when you are deciding to do those tasks INSTEAD of doing a bigger, more significant task, such as writing a blog post, editing and uploading a youtube video, writing an application or an essay or a book proposal. The point is you are using busy work as an excuse for not doing the actual work.
Busy Work is an avoidance tactic.
Why are we trying to avoiding the real work?
I believe there are two reasons:
- The real work is tedious and no fun
- The real work is scary and we have underlying fears that build resistance of doing the work
Number 1 is a task that is zero fun to do. You crave instant gratification and a boring, tedious task won’t provide that hit of pleasurable dopamine for you. Humans and especially people in the fixed mindset or perfectionists mindset love instant gratification. They always chose pleasure over pain or in this case easy over hard. Editing a YouTube video is annoying and boring, whereas writing an email or pinning on Pinterest is easy and much more fun.
Number 2 is a bit more tricky to uncover but really important to be aware of.
Here is the thing: Learn to be more aware of your thoughts and notice when you feel a resistance towards doing something. Often we procrastinate , because our perfectionism is kicking in. As a perfectionist you tend to avoid doing the actual work , because it makes you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. If you are procrastinating writing the job application you might be worried you’re not good enough to get the job anyway and therefore don’t want to waste effort giving it your all in that application. Or you might be scared getting the job and what this might change for you or they might realise you’re not good enough for the job and then you’ll lose it again. Reasons can be so varied and that’s why it’s so crucial you figure out WHAT exactly the thoughts are that make you want procrastinate.
Thought work is all about building awareness of our thoughts.
Here is a biggie to remember: Not your actions create your results.
Whatever you you do does not create your results. The way you think creates your results! That’s why following a step by step process to be successful won’t get you the results (see dieting or online courses) if you don’t have the beliefs that you will be successful. Your thoughts create your feelings, your feelings drive an action which then leads to a result.
If you have thoughts that block you then you won’t do the action and procrastinate instead. Result: No Success.
Find out 5 tips on how to stop the busy work and get sh*t done in episode 4 of the Sweet Life Project podcast.